What now, Twinkies? (Five by 8 – 10/11/10)

Will the Twins spend to stay competitive, how a woman saved a baby 10 years after she died, downloading Dylan, do you know judicial candidates, and can politicians play nice?


Welcome to your Monday. Here’s the rouser:

1) STAYING COMPETITIVE?

The Pioneer Press reports one of the Twins’ best pitchers — Carl Pavano — may pitch eslewhere next season. He’s a free agent and likely will get more money elsewhere.

MPR’s Marty Moylan reports the Twins made money hand over fist, thanks to their new stadium. What’s wrong with this picture?

Of course, it’ll take a few weeks to get over the sting of the Twins’ lifeless loss in the playoffs. In the meantime, Twins’ fans are in the various stages of the grieving process: denial, sarcasm, anger, and acceptance.

This writer is at “sarcasm.”

This is your fault, Gardy. It’s your fault that none of your players could come through with the clutch hit. It’s your fault that your pitching staff couldn’t toss three straight shutouts against the most high-scoring offense in baseball. Forget that you’ve won six pennants in nine years; what about the big one, huh?

You should be fired right now.

New York sportswriters are just now figuring out that a sport with a built-in competitive advantage for some teams may not be such a good idea. In typical New York style, he suggests the Twins are pretenders, because of a 25-11 record against the two worst teams in the division. He doesn’t mention that the Yankees were 21-15 against the two worst teams in the AL East.

2) LIFE AFTER DEATH

A woman in Massachusetts saved the life of an infant with leukemia last year, even though she died more than 10 years ago. A Minneapolis blood sample repository plays a big part in the story.3) AFTER GANGSTER GOVERNMENT?

The names of six Minnesota former congressmen appear on a letter to current members of Congress — and their opponents — telling them to be more civil:

None of us shrank from partisan debates while in Congress or from the partisan contests getting there. During our time in Congress, partisans on the other side may have been our opponents on some bills and our adversaries on some issues. They were not, however, the enemy.

We often had heated debates over policy, but we avoided challenging the motives or good will of those on the other side. At least as often as debates formed on partisan lines, we found ourselves with allies from the other side of the aisle, aligned against some similarly diverse and bipartisan group who viewed things in a different way. An adversary one day could and did easily become an ally the next. All of us shared an overriding concern in common: we were in office to solve the problems facing Americans at home and America abroad.

Today, the problems we face as a nation – challenges to our position in the global economy, challenges to our role defending democracy around the world, challenges from terrorists seeking to do us great harm, challenges of a faltering economy, challenges in education, energy, immigration, climate, health and countless other areas – are as great as any this country has faced in our lifetimes.

Sadly, faced with those challenges, our political system has not shown itself to be up to the task.

In this interview on NPR, the person who had the idea said the problem is the workweek doesn’t allow time for congresspeople to get to know each other. Is that really it?.4) LIGHTS, CAMERA, LAWYER!

Somewhere in Minnesota, a felony trial is starting today. And thanks to this blog, we have a better idea what it’s like to be an attorney in a criminal trial. We don’t know who she is, only that she’s the lawyer in the case. Her blog has been nominated for one of the 25 best law blogs by the Minnesota Bar Association.

It’s stuff like that–constantly monitoring every single thing you do, every facial expression you are making, every word you say, every move, every look, every everything. It’s sooo exhausting. No wonder I get migraines when I’m in trial. It’s a lot of concentrating on things that really aren’t the heart of the case but are still important–the last thing you want is a jury to dislike you for some reason. After every day in trial, I go home feeling like a zombie. It’s similar to how I felt after the first day I took the bar. It’s exhaustion mixed with sadness and horror that you have to go back for round two. And sometimes, with trial, rounds three, four, five…however many days it takes

MPR’s Tim Nelson reports on the 10th Judicial District race. Two-dozen people are running for one open seat as judge. A judge is a pretty important person in the judicial process, we hear. What are the odds voters give it the attention it deserves?

5) DOWNLOADING DYLAN

NPR has another “first listen” opportunity, in which it provides an advanced look at a coming album. This week it’s Bob Dylan’s Witmark Demos, 1962-64

Witmark had a small 6×8-foot studio, and it’s there that these songs were recorded and then transcribed into sheet music. So what you get is a fairly relaxed and young Bob Dylan playing his newest songs at the time. You hear flubs, forgotten verses, inspired playing and brilliant songs. Many of these tunes you already know, even if you’re just a casual Dylan fan. But you’ve probably never heard “Mr. Tambourine Man” on piano, or the roughly 15 songs never released in any official form.

You also get to hear some Dylan’s best work, most of which was written before he reached 24.

Meanwhile, oh, mama, could this really be the end of a synagogue in Hibbing where Dylan had his bar mitzvah? Aaron J. Brown sets the record straight:

It’s a common misconception that Dylan grew up in the only Jewish household in a post-bloom mining town. In truth, the Iron Range of the early- to mid-20th century had a fairly active Jewish community that accompanied the region’s broad ethnic diversity. Educated Jewish children, mostly of shopkeeping families, left with all the other educated children of miners to form strong communities all over the country in the later 20th century. Unfortunately, the Jewish communities on the Range were too small to sustain the losses, especially as businesses closed through the ’60s, and the congregations dissolved.

Bonus: Never play golf alone.

TODAY’S QUESTION

Each Monday now through the election, we’ll pose a question on an issue that’s pertinent to the race for Minnesota governor. Today’s Question: What should be the public contribution to a Vikings stadium?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: What does it mean to be a conservative in 2010?

Second hour: D. A. Powell, whose latest poetry collection is “Chronic.”

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Political commentators Todd Rapp, Maureen Shaver and Jack Uldrich will discuss the gubernatorial and congressional elections in Minnesota.

Second hour: A new documentary from the America Abroad Series: “Remembering the Cole”. Ten years ago, al Qaeda attacked the USS Cole and killed 17 sailors.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Robert Papetalks about his new book, “Cutting The Fuse.”

Second hour: On being outed as gay.

  • Ben Chorn

    I feel like “never go golfing alone” should also apply to fishing…

  • Al Heebsh

    Since you link to it each day, I’ll ask about here. Is MPR News considering ditching ‘Today’s question’? If not it should. It has really turned into side show, which was particularly evident on Friday with the DTOM – James bit. Unless public blogs are moderated they can turn pretty ugly and/or pointless. MPR is too classy of an organization to have this be on the front page of its website and highlighted by the radio show hosts throughout the day.

    And then there is the issue of quality and repitition of the questions. It’s been 6 whole business days since a question related to public financing of stadiums was asked.

  • Bob Collins

    I don’t know of any plans to ditch TQ, Al. But, then again, I wouldn’t.

  • Al

    So if I wanted to suggest that to someone who would make that decision, who would that be?

  • Bob Collins

    The boss of the news operation is Chris Worthington.

  • Al

    Thanks, Bob.

  • Jon

    Some politicians in DC also blame the lobbyist-inspired gift ban for the increased fights. They say a consequence was fewer members of congress inviting eachother over for dinner.

    It seems hard for me to believe that dinner invites were given out freely to colleagues one didn’t already like, but then again I hear powerful things result from a good bean supper.

  • http://norwegianity.wordpress.com Mark Gisleson

    Um, that video is REALLY LOUD. You might want to warn your readers about their volume settings.

  • MNReader

    It’s about time someone put the blame for the Twins collapse squarely where it belongs: on the head of Bob Collins. It was he who published the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx story in sordid detail and predicted the flop. We all *know* that there’s a scary downside to being on the cover, and for being able to celebrate so soon…but we just don’t *talk* about it. Don’t you remember how superstitious we all are? To give it a voice and announce the obvious brings the superstition to life. It’s kind of like “Beetlejuice,” or “Candyman” — it won’t come alive unless you speak it (or blog it) out loud. So I hope Mr. Collins realizes how much sole blame lies at his feet, and holds a press conference to claim accountability. We’re not paying him millions for nothing.

    Oh…we’re not paying him millions?

    Yeah…sarcasm is a good switch to have on at this point…